ST. LOUIS -- Jason LaRue's career is over, and while that's certainly a disappointment to both LaRue and the Cardinals, how it happened is much more distressing.
LaRue told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he will not play again, a result of the concussion he suffered in the Cardinals' Aug. 10 scuffle with the Reds. Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto kicked LaRue in the head repeatedly in the midst of the melee.
LaRue and the club initially hoped he would only be out a few days, but symptoms have lingered. LaRue remains at his home in Texas for the time being.
"I've talked to him a couple times," said manager Tony La Russa. "It's a constant irritation ... his career should have run its course. It might have run its course at the end of this year, but without that aggravation."
LaRue told the Post-Dispatch that he might have been on his way to retirement anyway, but that now it's a done deal.
"When it first happened, I thought it was just another concussion," he told the paper. "I felt within a couple days I would be fine. But I didn't feel good. And for a long time, nothing progressed."
The Cardinals remain irritated that Cueto received a seven-game suspension for actions that ended a career.
"We're not going to do anything about it, hold a grudge," La Russa said. "Normally, there's a judgment that just, sparks flew. Here, one guy [Brandon Phillips] instigated it and another guy [Cueto] escalated it. And I never really did hear anything. I'm not saying anything else."